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Friday, December 12, 2014

Capitol Update By Rep. Martin Causer

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Capitol Update
Friday, December 12, 2014

Kane Open House – Thank You for Coming! 
  

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Kane office on Thursday for the open house. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and look forward to working with all of you in the year ahead. Pictured with me, left to right, are Kane Borough Manager Don Payne, Kane Borough Councilman Gary Schul, Kane Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tim Holt, and Kane Area School District Vice President Maj. Thomas Kerek (retired).

An Early Lesson in Government
 

Bradford Mayor Tom Riel and I talked with third-graders at School Street Elementary School about state and local government recently. The session was organized by teacher Rebecca Ward and is designed to get the kids interested in their government from an early age. They asked some really great questions!
 

New Law Takes Effect to Battle Heroin Epidemic 
 
A new law to help in the battle against heroin overdoses is now in effect. Act 139 of 2014 enables first responders, including law enforcement, firefighters and all emergency medical services personnel, to administer naloxone to individuals experiencing an opioid overdose.

Additionally, the legislation allows friends or family members of a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to receive a prescription for naloxone and administer it. The drug counters the effects of drugs like heroin and can save lives.

Finally, the law offers Good Samaritan and other immunity protections in certain situations for those responding to and reporting an opioid overdose. For more information about this new law, click here.

Mixed Review on November Revenue Collections

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue recently released its total calculations for revenue collections for the month of November. While some collections are significantly above estimate for the month and the year, the overall budget deficit still looms large.

The Office of the Budget confirmed earlier this week that the Commonwealth will have a projected $2 billion budget gap next year.

For the month of November, Pennsylvania collected $1.7 billion in General Fund revenue, which was $5.6 million, or 0.3 percent, above estimates. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $10.6 billion, which is $109 million, or 1 percent, above estimate. Sales tax collection, personal income tax collection, corporate tax revenue and inheritance tax are all above initial projections for both the month and the year to date. Those increased collections could be a sign of a growing economy.
  
The realty transfer tax was down roughly 13.4 percent for the year, as were taxes on cigarettes, beer, liquor and table games, but only by 0.4 percent for the year. Non-tax revenue is down 19.5 percent for the year.
 
For more information, visit www.revenue.state.pa.us.
 

Are You Prepared for the Winter Travel Season?

While we all get plenty of opportunities to drive in cold, snowy weather here, it is still important to ensure you are prepared for winter weather emergencies.
 
According to State Police and PennDOT, motorists should make sure their vehicle is in proper working order, particularly batteries and tires. Every vehicle should have an emergency preparedness kit on hand which includes a cell phone with charger, heavy blanket(s), gloves, salt or sand, flashlights, snow shovels, water, non-perishable food items, ice scraper, snow brushes, tow chain, jumper cables, extra batteries, road flares and an emergency cash supply.
  
If you do become stranded, it's better to stay with your vehicle until help arrives. Run the engine every hour or so, but make sure the tailpipe is clear to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, and keep the downwind window cracked open.
For more winter driving safety tips, click here.
 

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